Do English Bulldogs Turn on Their Owners? How to Prevent It…

English Bulldogs are loving dogs, and they’re extremely loyal to their owners and family members. Even though they were originally bred to be aggressive, they can be excellent family companions with proper training and socialization. 

However, there are some cases where even the most loyal dogs would turn on their owners.

So, do English Bulldogs turn on their owners? English Bulldogs do not turn on their owners without reason. Reasons they might turn on their owners include asserting dominance, feeling anxious or afraid, acting on learned behavior, suffering from trauma, or feeling jealous. You need to determine the reason to stop your dog from turning on you.

Continue reading to learn more about why English Bulldogs might turn on their owners, signs of aggression to look out for, and how to stop your dog from turning on you.

Do English Bulldogs Turn On Their Owners?

a photo of bulldog attacking its owner to show that English bulldogs do turn on their owners

As a Bulldog owner, it’s important to learn about the history of this breed and how it contributed to their behavior.

English Bulldog was originally bred to be aggressive as they were used in bull-baiting practices. After bull baiting became illegal, English Bulldogs were trained to be house pets and proved to be loyal to their owners. 

However, English Bulldogs might still turn on their owners and attack them, but they will never do that without a clear reason. You can learn more about why your English Bulldog keeps attacking you here.

We will be discussing all the reasons why English Bulldogs turn on their owners.

6 Reasons why English Bulldogs Turn on Their Owners

There are many reasons why a Bulldog may turn on their owner, but here are the 6 most common reasons bulldogs turn on their owners:

Asserting Dominance

English Bulldogs think of themselves as the pack leaders. When their owners try to command them, they might turn on them as a way of asserting dominance. 

The main reason they do this is that they’re not properly trained, and they do not see their owners as the pack leader.


Oftentimes English Bulldogs feel anxious and stressed, which will cause them to turn on their owners and act aggressively toward them as a way to express their feelings.

It’s important to figure out what’s causing the dog to feel anxious and stressed to get it to calm down and prevent it from becoming aggressive. One of the most common forms of anxiety in bulldogs is separation anxiety, and you can avoid this happening by training your bulldog how to be okay when left alone as explained here.


English Bulldogs also feel afraid or threatened for various reasons, which will cause them to turn on their owners and act aggressively toward them as a way of coping with the fear.

It’s important to figure out what’s causing the dog to be afraid and to make it feel safe in order to prevent it from becoming aggressive.

Learned behavior 

The English Bulldog’s behavior mostly depends on its training and living conditions. There are various behaviors the dog might pick up just by observing their owners and others around them.

If the dog was raised by owners who often behave aggressively, it’s likely to turn on them and become aggressive towards them because that’s the kind of behavior the dog is exposed to the most.


Traumatized English Bulldogs are likely to turn on their owners even when they’re trying to show affection to the dog. 

This is more common with dogs who come from rescues and shelters because they’re usually exposed to a lot of negative experiences that involve abuse and violence in their lives.

These dogs perceive everything as a threat, so they need to be trained and socialized properly. They also need to be shown a lot of affection so they can have more positive experiences instead of negative experiences.


English Bulldogs might snap or turn on their owners if they notice that their owners are spending more time with others and not giving them enough attention.

Researchers at the University of San Diego have proven that Bulldogs can feel jealous, and they will express their feelings by acting out to get their owners to pay more attention to them.

How to Tell That Your English Bulldog Will Turn on You?

You can tell that your English Bulldog will turn on you by monitoring its behavior and looking out for any sign that it’s becoming aggressive.

There are many signs of aggression in English Bulldogs. So, let’s take a look at the common signs that you need to watch out for to tell that your dog is about to turn on you.

  • The dog will be barking and growling a lot
  • The dog will be licking its lips and drooling 
  • The dog will be baring and grinding its teeth
  • The dog will be tucking its tail or wagging it rapidly
  • The dog will have some white dots in its eyes and will avoid direct eye contact
  • The dog will have raised hair and a stiff posture
  • The dog will pull back its ears until they’re flat

If you notice any of these signs, you need to calm your dog down before its behavior escalates and it starts attacking you. In order to calm the dog down, you need to figure out what’s causing it to be aggressive in the first place.

How to Stop Your English Bulldog from Turning on You?

The first thing you need to do to stop your English Bulldog from turning on you is to figure out what’s causing its aggressive behavior and eliminate that cause.

Next, you need to take action to train the dog properly and prevent it from becoming aggressive again.

So, here are some training tips you can follow that will help you stop your English Bulldog from turning on you:

Reward Positive Behavior 

You need to reward the dog whenever it displays any positive behavior to encourage it to continue displaying this kind of behavior more often in the future.

If your English Bulldog is doing good, engaging in games, and being playful, you can reward it by giving treats, toys, or showing it some affection. 

Discourage negative behavior

On the other hand, you need to discourage negative behavior so that your English Bulldog will understand that this kind of will not be tolerated and that it cannot be repeated.

When discouraging negative behavior, it’s best to avoid using any violence, such as yelling at the dog or beating it, because this will cause the dog to turn on you. Instead

Instead, you can gently let the dog know that you do not like this behavior and take away its treats or toys. Eventually, the dog will learn that this kind of behavior is bad.

Avoid Using Violent Punishment

As mentioned before, it’s best to avoid using violent punishment methods with your English Bulldog as they’re likely to backfire and cause the dog to become even more aggressive.

Are English Bulldogs Normally Aggressive to Humans?

Some people might think that English Bulldogs are aggressive to humans because of how they look and their violent history. But, the truth is, Bulldogs are not normally aggressive to humans. They will only get aggressive if they have a reason or if they are treated aggressively.

When to Seek Professional Help with Your Aggressive Bulldog?

You need to seek professional help with your aggressive Bulldog if you can’t figure out the reason it’s becoming aggressive or if you can’t do anything to stop the dog from becoming aggressive.

It’s recommended to take the dog to a trainer or a vet so they can determine the main cause behind the dog’s aggressive behavior and give you some advice on how you can deal with it effectively.

Related Questions 

Why Is Your Bulldog Growling?

Your Bulldog might be growling at you because it’s trying to communicate with you that it’s feeling threatened. Growling is usually a sign that the dog is becoming aggressive. So, make sure to calm your dog down when it starts growling to stop it from attacking you.

Can A Bulldog Kill Another Dog?

A Bulldog can kill another dog if the dog with smaller. Bulldogs have large, muscular bodies which give them a lot of physical strength. Bulldogs also have strong jaws and sharp teeth which makes their bites capable of causing serious damage. However, they will not attack other dogs unless they were provoked.

What Are the Signs of Jealousy in Bulldogs?

Signs of jealousy in Bulldogs include behaving aggressively whenever they notice that their owners are paying more attention to something else. Also, being more clingy than usual and following you around. You need to give your dog enough attention to prevent it from being jealous.

Helpful Resources

Dog-Mauling Death: Why Dogs Turn on Their Owners

Dog Behavior Problems – Aggression to Family Members – Introduction and Safety

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